Tuesday, March 20, 2012


With some encouragement from Reece's cousin, Katy, I've decided to FINALLY update the old blog.  : )  This sounds more fun than reading that chapter for homework, so I'll do what I do best and procrastinate a little more!

I can't believe that I'm already in my third trimester!  It is crazy to think that we'll have our little girl with us in a little over two months.  With that thought in the back of our minds, we've gotten busy on the nursery lately, and daddy has been nesting more than mommy!

We tried to refinish the wood floors in the bedroom and decided they were beyond repair.  So it was off to Lumber Liquidators in Sioux Falls to buy laminate flooring.  What a good idea!  Here's before and after pics of the floor.


Before...the really bad spot!  We ripped out a closet in this corner and you can see the outline on the floor.

Before again, the whole floor

After! Beautiful!  (Thanks Reece and Lowell for their hard work!)

This is a little taste of what the nursery will become.  We're doing a funky, retro/owl theme.
We built the crib on Sunday and we have a dresser that I refinished in an awesome green color.  I also bought an Expedit shelf from Ikea for organizing diapers and changing supplies.

Here's what I need to do before baby comes:
  1. Sew crib skirt and crib sheets.
  2. Arrange all of my cute decor on the walls.
  3. Organize and prep cloth diapers.
  4. Sleep as much as possible at night!
  5. Finish crocheting baby blanket.
  6. Um...I'm sure there's more, but that's all I've got right now!
So there it is.  I updated the blog!  I promise to update more often, and of course when baby girl arrives, I'll have lots of cuteness to share!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Mexi-inspired Dinner

We had the most amazing dinner tonight on the grill and I had to share.  Unfortunately, I had already devoured half of my plate of food before I thought about taking a picture, so you'll just have to imagine how beautiful it was in your head.

First, we had Bobby Flay's Grilled Corn with Chipotle-Cilantro Butter, accompanied by grilled veggies (BLUE potatoes, carrots, and onions).  And, the star of the show, Grilled Sirloin with fresh Pico de Gallo.  MMMmmm...was it tasty!  The secret to the steak was using taco seasoning as a dry rub before we grilled it.  I made my own pico de gallo by combining a tomato, 1/2 an onion, lime juice and cilantro.  We also topped our steaks with some avocado slices.  Seriously, to - DIE - for!

I suggest you give it a try.  I only made 1/2 of the butter from the recipe and it was plenty for us.  We even added some of the Chipotle-Cilantro butter to our veggies and steak so everything had a nice smoky heat.  If you like spicy or Mexican food, you can't go wrong with this one!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Dresser Redo

This is my big project for the week.  I tried painting my childhood dresser a new color and I didn't like how it turned out.  My solution? Strip all the paint off so I can stain it.  Here's before and during....after to follow.  :)

Friday, July 15, 2011

No-Poo Day 5

So maybe you still think I'm crazy, but it's day 5 and my hair looks and feels great.  I've done the baking soda/apple cider vinegar routine since Monday and my hair is awesome.  It is not dirty or greasy and actually, I don't think I even needed to wash it today.  Just a rinse would have done the trick.  I'm still using my taffy and hair spray in my hair, but the pic below is just wash and air dry.  So far I love it and I haven't seen anything negative.  I did the vinegar rinse every other day and I did notice my hair looked shinier on those days.  BUT I wouldn't do that every day since it can be too harsh and drying to do the vinegar every day.  Anyway, I'm going to keep going, but so far so good.  Anyone else brave enough to try it?  It's easy and cheap, what have you got to lose?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

No shampoo pics, day 1

Here is what my hair looks like after washing and rinsing with BS/ACV. I took some with and without flash, but look how shiny my hair is when the flash is on!

Buh-Bye Shampoo: Day 1

I've been reading up on going shampoo-free or "poo-free" for a while and I decided to give it a try.  Of course, shampoo is a very regular part of our everyday lives, so to think about using no shampoo is crazy to most of us.  So why do this?  There are plenty of good, no, GREAT reasons to quit the shampoo cycle.

  • Chemicals:  This is the #1 reason for me.  The chemicals in shampoo (and pretty much EVERY product you can get at the regular old store) just freak me out.  We don't know what all of these unregulated chemicals can do to our bodies, so I'd just like to avoid them for my health and my family's health.  Some of the main offenders include mineral oil (the byproduct of converting crude oil into gasoline! YUCK!) and sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS).  SLS is a know skin irritant and found in anything that can foam up (shampoo, toothpaste, dish soap, body wash, etc.)
  • Cost:  The ingredients you need for going poo-free are baking soda and apple cider vinegar.  You can buy these in bulk if you want, and they are much cheaper than buying shampoo and conditioner, which is mostly water anyway.
  • It's good for the environment too!  Baking soda and ACV are natural and won't harm the environment, plus I'm contributing less garbage to land fills by not throwing away those empty bottles.
So, Day 1.  What's the verdict?  I think it's good so far.  I used about a tablespoon of baking soda in my palm, got it wet to make a paste and scrubbed away.  Rinsed.  Then took a tablespoon of ACV in a cup and added about a cup of water and rinsed my hair.  I won't have to do this step every day, only 2-3 times per week.  Eventually I hope to be washing my hair less, although I'm still going to use hair products like hair spray, so I'll have to rinse that out.  

Right now my hair is clean and shiny and looks great.  We'll see how it goes from here.

Here are some sites I read before doing the experiment myself.

Also, if you just search "shampoo free" you will find TONS more.  Okay, that's all for now.  More updates to follow as I continue my experiment!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The New Bathroom

Finally, the pictures I promised before.  We finished our bathroom project about a month ago now and I LOVE it!  We were able to keep the floors and tub/shower, and we ripped everything else out.  Here's what it looks like.  I'm so happy with how it turned out.  :)

This is the view from the outside looking in.  It is a teeny tiny bathroom, but I think the white ceiling and light color on the walls with white trim make it look bigger than it actually is.

 This is the view of the other side looking into the bathroom.

Here's a good shot of the wainscoting we put up, as well as the new toilet, 
new cabinet (built by Reece), and new valance to match cabinet.

A close-up of the cabinet.  This thing is huge!  I love how it turned out.  
Reece just built a box and we attached an old window with fabric as the door.

My little picture collage.  I just spray painted some thrift store frames.  
The birds were actually some greeting cards my Grandma Shirley had, and I made the "Wash Your Hands" sign after seeing one like it on

This is a little blurry, but you can see the vanity here.  I also painted our old mirror to match the new white wainscoting.  We have a quartz counter top and a new sleek modern faucet.

One of my favorite things is this corner.  
It used to have a bulky cabinet on the wall.  
I bought a new frame and mat for a print I already had and 
I mounted some inexpensive hooks on the wall for towels.  
Simple yet pretty and functional.

Well, that's it!  Like I said, I love it.  Every time I'm in there, I just look around and feel so happy!  We're not totally done though...about a week after we "finished" our bathroom fan went kaput.  So now we have a fan to install too.  Love Menards!  The best part is we did the whole thing on a budget and only spent about $800.  Pretty good as far as bathrooms go.